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USCG Cutter Taney, Baltimore, MD
27th Jul 2008
Baltimore and Washington, DC

My first port of call (boom-tish!) was Baltimore, around the Inner Harbor area.   It was good to see the city in the light, as well as at night. I walked around the bay and was very impressed with the area.  The old buildings have modern tenants but keep their original charm, and are offset by true modern structures made of all-glass.

Some points of interest were the last survivor of Pearl Harbor, the USCG Cutter Taney; the World Trade Center, and old power plant now filled with shops, USS Constellation and Federal Hill.

I called in to see Edgar Allen Poe's grave and then continued south to Fort McHenry.  This was really fascinating.  It's a star-shaped fort that defended Baltimore and was the birth place of the Star Spangled Banner song that became the National Anthem in the 1930s.  Here's the story.  In the War of 1812, the Royal Navy landed troops south of the city who marched toward Baltimore.  They agreed to spare various small towns in return for no aggression against them.  Upon  their return through the town some troops sought shelter in a house, forcing their way in, and were arrested by a local doctor.  When they were released and reported their story, it was deemed to have been a breach of the gentleman's agreement and the doctor was arrested and taken to a ship.  Francis Key was sent to negotiate his release, and since the doc had aided wounded troops he was indeed released, but both had to stay aboard the ship as they'd heard of the plans to attack Baltimore.   Soon the Navy attacked Fort McHenry, using rockets and mortars from a position out of range of the fort's cannon. By the morning, the dawn's early light, if you will, it was clear that the fort was still under US control since the flag was still flying (a flag of 15 stars and 15 stripes), and the Navy abandoned the attack.  Key was so pleased that he wrote the song that very day.

The flag used to be updated with an extra star and an extra strip for every new state that joined the union.  After 18 states had joined it was decided that the stripes would be too thin, and a new mode was conceived:  13 stripes for the 13 originals, and a star for each current member.

I enjoyed watching the actors re-enact the daily life in the fort, and was grateful that they spared my life:  "with an accent like that we should put you up against the wall" 



I drove to Washington, DC, and parked just up from the White House.  This was my first stop.  It was cool to peer over the fence, but I swear that the Hired Goon standing on the roof was pointing his binoculars directly at me. 

On Pennsylvania Ave there was a woman protesting... something.  It wasn't quite clear.  She has banners demanding peace, demanding that we (Joe Public) renounce genocidal weapons, and declaring GWB the real terrorist.  I engaged her and it soon became clear that, despite her peace banners, she wanted the annihilation of Israel.  She swore it was a Zionist state, not a state for the Jews; but she was unable to explain to me the difference between the two.  Her literature, aimed at aiding my understanding, did nothing to define the Zionists, simply decry them. She even suggested, in her terribly broken English, that I didn't understand what was written, at which point I left.

I toured half of The Mall, from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln, via the WWII memorial and the long pool.  The Washington is a huge (550ft) obslisk, visible from all over the city, Lincoln's is a statue of him seated in a large Parthenon-style building.


I headed over to my couch surfing home, the apartment of two gorgeous ladies.  We went to a dinner party at their friends' house and then crashed out.


Next: Washington, DC: day 2
Previous: Intercourse and Baltimore

Diary Photos

USCG Cutter Taney, Baltimore, MD

Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD

Old power plant, Baltimore, MD

City view, Baltimore, MD

WTC, Baltimore, MD

Federal Hill, Baltimore, MD

Poe`s grave, Baltimore, MD

Star-Spangled Banner, Baltimore, MD

Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

Soldiers at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

Canon at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD

Whitehouse, Washington DC

Goon on Whitehouse, Washington DC

Protestor at whitehouse, Washington DC

Whitehouse, Washington DC

WWII and Washington memorials, Washington DC

Washinington Memorial, Washington DC

Pool, Washington DC

Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC

Lincoln in his memorial, Washington DC

Diary Movies


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